Is Mothman Trying to Warn Us, Again?

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It feels like our world is unprecedented turmoil. Every day there is a new piece of alarming news, from the weather to terrorist attacks to social unrest and violence to nuclear testing. In uncertain times people tend to look for meaning in the terrible, it has to mean more than just being, well, terrible. We examine the incident to see if there was any fore-warning or another way to avoid it, or perhaps, all of these happenings are warnings of worse things to come, and we must uncover their meaning before it is too late.

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By Tim Bertelink (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Perhaps the most recognized harbinger of doom is the Mothman. He’s been described as a large black, red-eyed, winged humanoid. The movie “Mothman Prophesies” fictionalized the Mothman sightings in West Virginia from 1966-67 directly before the collapse of the Silver Bridge on December 15, 1967, killing 46 people. The creature was seen in various areas by credible witnesses and many claim to have seen the Mothman near the bridge directly before it fell into the river. The sightings were covered by various newspapers at the time, and it was speculated that it was possibly a large owl, a previously unknown species of animal, or an alien being.

People began seeing him again, twenty years later, far away from West Virginia in the area of Pripyat in what was then part of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic of the Soviet Union (USSR). Did you guess that Pripyat is near the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant? In April of 1986 people began reporting sightings of a giant winged humanoid with no head and piercing red lights that could be eyes in the neck area. The people reported having terrible nightmares after seeing the creature. On the morning of April 26, 1986, the No. 4 reactor at the nuclear power plant exploded killing at least 30 people directly with more than 9,000 deaths related to the subsequent radiation. Workers who survived the initial blast reported seeing a large black bird-like creature flying through the smoke of the resulting fires. It was never described again after the Chernobyl disaster and although it was dubbed “The Black Bird of Chernobyl” many believe it was indeed the Mothman.

Now, a winged humanoid has been spotted near Chicago. Since 2011 there have been almost 50 sightings of something that looks a large black bat between six and eight feet tall with a twelve feet wingspan flying around Chicago. One even jumped from the Sears Tower and flew away as reported by a man who claimed to be a police officer. A group of people reported seeing two of the creatures perform aerial acrobatics near the planetarium.

Could it be just that? Large bats? After all, megabats or flying foxes can have wingspans up to 5 feet. However, they are not indigenous to West Virginia, Ukraine, or Chicago. A costumed drone? Drones were not a thing in 1967 and maybe not even in 1986. A guy in a flight suit? I’ve only seen those coast on the air, not do acrobatics.

Does this mean something terrible is going to happen in Chicago, aside from the gun violence (as if that isn’t horrible enough)? I don’t know. There is a debate regarding whether the Mothman is simply a warning or does the creature actually cause the destruction. It’s the same for the Black Eyed Kids in my novel DREAD, and we may never know the answer.

Fortean researcher and author Lon Strickler has an interactive map of sighting reports on his website Phantoms and Monsters if you want to check out the reports for yourself. It’s quite astonishing to see the visual of how many sightings there are and their close proximity to one another.

A few years ago, someone that I trust who lives in a Denver, Colorado, told me the following story:

I was coming home with both dogs, kind of late in the evening. The sun was almost down but still light enough. I got the dogs out, and we started walking up the front walk to the house. I just happened to glance up at the sky and flying right over me was a dark shape. All I could say is that it looked like a giant bat with a dog’s head. Its wings were stretched out and were probably over six feet across. It just silently glided away. I watched it until it disappeared behind some trees. My dogs didn’t notice it all. For the next several weeks I was scared to look up, afraid I might see it again. It really freaked me out to know that something like that could live around here.

Nothing terrible happened, and he never saw it again. It does sound like it could be a flying fox. If it is, why and how did it get to Colorado? Why hasn’t anyone reported seeing them or found a dead one? Just what is going on? Weird. I’m keeping tabs on this story.

Got your own encounter or sighting? I’d love to hear about it!

Until next time, keep looking up (or not) and Never Turn Off the Lights.

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I <3 Horror, Deal With It

I have a problem. Like many writers, I feel uncomfortable telling people that I write when I first meet them, let alone that I write Horror. You have to know me a little better first, or at least, buy me dinner. My neighbor of four years didn’t know until she stumbled on my Facebook profile and she told me she was shocked.

Shocked? I asked her why.

She stuttered and hemmed and hawed, but eventually she said that I just didn’t seem like the type of person who liked that kind of thing. I had to laugh. What type of person is the kind of person that likes that kind of  thing?

My dear cousin sent me this meme on Facebook because she knows. I commented that I would crack up because things just got FUN! It made me think about an experience I shared with one of my daughters, she definitely knows.12744564_660596094078920_6204107145974811045_n

It was the night after my favorite holiday, Halloween. I picked up said daughter from a late practice at her high school and we were driving home.

At that time we lived in the western suburbs of Denver, butting up to the Rocky Mountain foothills. Our streets were wide, the houses spaced nicely apart, and the street lights were of the decorative variety, pretty but not efficient in their job. That left the roads alarmingly dark at night.

The street we were driving on was the long straight backbone of the neighborhood, the other streets shot off from it like teeth on a comb. As we drove through the dark we saw a lone figure in the distance standing in the weak pool of light cast by the street light at the only stop sign.

It was slowly formulating in my mind that someone had left a Halloween decoration too close to the road. A dark lower portion made the white top appear to levitate. As we approached, I could see that it was a person. A person wearing dark coveralls and a white Micheal Myers mask.

We slowed down as we got right next to him because of the stop sign. He moved towards our car, reaching his hand out as if to grasp the passenger side door handle.

“Mom, go!”

I pulled away from the stop sign and looked in my rearview mirror. I saw him standing in the road behind us, his white face glowing red in my taillights. He stood motionless, watching us drive away. I thought he looked dejected.halloween-4-03

“Holy crap! What was that?” my daughter said.

“I don’t know, but let’s go back! That was awesome!” I said, glee overfilling my heart.

“No way!”

I looked at her sweet face. She really was freaked out.

“Come on. It’s just a Halloween prank. We’ll just drive back around one time, ok?”

“It. Is. Not. Halloween. What if they want to carjack us! Or he just killed all the neighbors and needs a get away car?”

I love her dearly, so we drove on home. She relieved, me disappointed. I was sorry to miss out on that glorious feeling of terror, that thrill that I love so much.

It took the sensible voice of my husband to keep me from getting in my truck and driving back over there by myself. The girl was right, it probably wasn’t safe. You never know about people these days. He joked that if we don’t hear about neighbors being slashed tomorrow, we would know it was a late Halloween prank.

I never told them that I looked in my mirror one last time before turning off on our street. I saw him cross the road and go in between two houses, as if headed to one or other backyard. There was still hope that Michael Myers was creeping around the neighborhood. I peered out into my own heavily wooded and dark backyard hoping for a jolt.

My heart sank a little deeper to see that no one was there.

My current neighbor would probably rethink every interaction we ever had if she knew that story about me.

There you have it. Just like a book, you can’t judge a horror fan by their cover. It could be anyone. Even the people you least expect. Take Guillermo Del Toro, R.L. Stine, or Stephen King. They all look perfectly normal. My neighbor thinks I’m a normal, upstanding, kindly, law-abiding citizen who listens to NPR. While I am all those things, I am a creator and fan of horror. Even little Mikey Myers appeared normal, at first.

My husband was right. You just never know about people these days.

Until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights!

Is it the End of the World as We Know It?

Maybe you have heard that the world as we know it will come to an end this September. If you haven’t heard, I’m so happy to be the one to break the news! Why this September? Folks who spend a lot of time looking at this kind of stuff note that a convergence of events will/have occurred. Here are a few of these events that I find most interesting…

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The Blood Moons

I wrote about the tetrad here. The last of the blood moons happens on September 28. It’s not just a blood moon, but a super moon, too.

Shemitah Year

The last of the Jewish seven-year cycle in that all debts are forgiven and the land is to rest. Some are predicting this will be the start of a global financial crisis that would usher in the Great Tribulation.

CERN Large Hadron Collider

Created to further our understanding of the universe by allowing scientists to observe particle collisions at an energy level far higher than anything ever before. It’s being fired up today at the highest level ever. The problem? No one is exactly sure what will happen. What some believe could happen ranges from nothing noticeable to the creation of a black hole that basically eats the earth up from within. Yay science?

Asteroid Collision

This creates catastrophic climate change. Believers claim that the Jade Helm exercises were done in preparation for the chaos that would ensue. I’m not sure about that one, this would be an extinction level event and controlling the masses would be a waste of time. Good luck finding any soldiers willing to spend their last moments worrying about law and order! NASA says no such collision is imminent. But believers ask, would they say otherwise?

World Religious Events

It is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, and the Catholic Pope visits with the President of the United States. Sorry, Protestants, Hindus, and Buddhists, nothing happening for you. I’m not sure what significance these events have on the end of the world, but conspiracy theorists mention it enough that it’s intriguing.

My uncle used to say that it didn’t matter when the end of the world was. You should live like it could be tomorrow, but work like it was coming in thousands of years. Not bad advice.

If we are all still here, until next time, Never Turn Off the Lights.

Wow! Signal Revisited?

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Image of the original printout and notation.

Piggy-backing on my visit to Area 52 an other interesting UFO story has caught my attention.

In 1977 Ohio State University Radio Observatory, known as Big Ear,  was in full operation. For its part in Ohio State University’s SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project Big Ear searched for extraterrestrial radio signals. Back in those days the data gathered from the radio telescope was processed by a mainframe computer to be printed out. Each print out had to be gone over by hand. How archaic, right? I’m sure there is an app for that now.

In August of that year a man named Jerry Ehman was pouring over the printouts. He spotted the alphanumeric sequence “6EQUJ5”,  circled it and wrote “WOW!” in the margin. This would become to be known as the Wow! signal.

It may not seem very wow-worthy until you understand the significance of the find. At that time, scientists hypothesized that since hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and emits a signal at a frequency of 1420 megahertz, extraterrestrials may send out a signal similar to it. The idea was that extraterrestrials may think that other intelligent beings would recognize the signature of hydrogen thus recognize the signal as intelligent communication. The Wow! signal was significantly more powerful than previously recorded ones and lasted for a longer period, 72 seconds. Even more astonishing, it was very close to 1420 megahertz! Unfortunately the signal was never picked up again despite attempts to scan the area of space that it originated from. Big Ear was dismantled in 1998.

On the 37th anniversary of the Wow! signal an independent group of researchers led by Joshua P. Warren commenced the Arecibo Project and transmitted radio messages into space from areas around Puerto Rico. The messages included GPS coordinates and a request to appear there. They placed a live webcam to stream images from the GPS location. Several anomalies were captured, including a high-pitch tone that accompanied a saucer-shaped object. When the team examined the tone they found it to be acutely similar to the Wow! signal. The team has placed all of their findings at http://areciboproject.com and are requesting that others with expertise analyze the evidence.

I’m certainly not a video, audio, or UFO expert but the images are interesting. I’m going to try and keep tabs on this, I’m curious if other experts can verify the findings. If that’s the case, let’s just hope that whoever or whatever decided to follow the GPS coordinates on the footage (and in the future) is friendly. But in the words of Peter Venkman, the whole problem with aliens is you just can’t trust them. Occasionally you meet a nice one, Star Man, E.T., but usually they turn out to be some kind of big lizard!

Are You Ready For the Blood Moons?

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blood_moonBlood moon, sounds ominous doesn’t it? So much more mysterious than boring old lunar eclipse, don’t you think? A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow and the next total lunar eclipse is due to occur on April 15, 2014. We should have a very good view in the western hemisphere and it will last a total of 77 minutes. I’ve heard that binoculars are an excellent way to view this event which will start around 1:07 am (mountain time).

This type of eclipse is referred to as a blood moon because the moon passes through the Earth’s umbral shadow. Umbral-what, you say? Time for some science, YAY SCIENCE!

The Earth’s shadow is actually made up of two cone-shaped pieces, one nested inside the other. The outer or penumbral shadow blocks only part of the Sun’s rays. However, the umbra or inner shadow blocks all the sunlight from reaching the moon. The umbral shadow is usually tinted orange or red by light passing through the atmosphere thus giving the moon a red appearance.

No total eclipses were observed in the 18th and 19th centuries. Five total lunar eclipses have been observed in the last century. In our current 21st Century astronomers are stating that eight will be observed. The eclipse that’s happening on the 15th will be the first of four total eclipses predicted to happen in the next 18 months (consecutive total lunar eclipses are called a lunar tetrad).

Signs and wonders in the sky usually get us to think about what it could mean, if anything. I am not a biblical prophecy or eschatology expert by any means but have found some thoughts on this event interesting.

There are some who think the coming tetrad is linked to the biblical passage of Joel 2:31, the sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible day of the Lord come, ushering the second coming of Jesus Christ. With earthquakes, land slides, wars and rumors of wars this is not a stretch for many believers to make.

There is another school of thought that the tetrad is a sign that something important will happen to or regarding Israel. These upcoming blood moons coincide with the Jewish holidays of Passover and The Feast of Tabernacles. There have been other tetrads that have fallen on Jewish holidays, according to Mark Biltz in his book Blood Moons there have been eight tetrads in total that have fallen on Jewish feast days since the time of Christ. He holds that the last three of those eight occurred when something significant was happening in Jewish history.

1. 1493-1494 tetrad – expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492

2. 1949-1950 tetrad – re-establishment of Israel in 1948

3. 1967-1968 tetrad – right before the beginning of the Six Day war in 1967

So, what does all that mean? I don’t know. And I make it a personal note to run away as fast as I can from anyone who claims they are the only one who unequivocally knows. Some experts say it is not surprising that blood moons (they can only happen on full moons) coincide with Jewish holidays, the Jewish calendar is after all a lunar calendar. However, think on this, it is ironic that three of the four total lunar eclipses that are coming will not be visible from Israel, at all.

Could this just be another 2012 Mayan calendar, or Y2K computer thing? Like I said before, I don’t know. I’m going to do my best to be up at 1:07 am and view this thing. It remains to be seen if this event has deeper meaning.

Until then Never Turn Off the Lights because the blood moons could just mean that the werewolves are rising.

via necromanga on deviantART

via necromanga on deviantART